Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How’s Ferguson’s Community College?

By Professor Doom

     Ferguson’s been perpetually in the news the last few months, over the shooting of Michael Brown. It seems the citizens there don’t reckon they’re getting a fair shake from the police, which supposedly perform a “public service” for the good people of Ferguson. I’m inclined to agree, whatever Brown’s alleged transgressions…but I want to talk a little about the community college in Ferguson.

      In the past, I’ve shown that most community colleges are criminal enterprises, which flaunt Federal law with impunity, and exist mostly to fleece people out of their college loan money, in exchange for particularly worthless pseudo-college coursework.

     Ferguson has a community college, Saint Louis Community College (STLCC) at Florissant Valley. Let’s take a look at the “public service” the community college there is performing. Recall that Federal law only allows college student loan money for work that is at the 9th grade or better. STLCC has a very nice website, it takes all of 30 seconds to see that, indeed, they offer plenty of coursework that is well below the 9th grade. For example, consider

     “Operations on whole numbers” is complicated-sounding edu-speak…it refers to calculations like “7 + 2”. It’s hard to claim this is 9th grade level work. So, like most every community college, it’s highly likely they’re in violation of Federal law. It’s worth pointing out accreditation determines if a school should get student loan money. It’s also worth pointing out that these schools have legions of administrators to make sure the rules are being followed.

     And it’s very, very, much worth pointing out that anybody with a computer and web access can tell right away this school is in violation. Weird how none of these ridiculously highly paid people can perform this task and make corrections…could it be because administration gets first cut of the Federal Pell and loan loot, leaving the students to eventually pay the bill?

     Well, ok, STLCC is only making the same “mistake” lots of schools make, perhaps it’s just a fluke that they’re screwing over their students so. A student starting in that course will be taking 3 years of coursework before he’ll get to a class that will actually transfer to a university or that covers material not available in every high school in the country.

      It’s interesting that high schools with a dropout rate above 50% are considered disgraceful. Shouldn’t that be more or less the standard of schools in higher education too? Especially since, you know, high schools have to take everyone, while schools in higher education can restrict entrance, even if they’re “open admission”. So, with any integrity at all, an institution of higher education can easily break 50% graduation.

     I wonder how well STLCC is doing? 

“…But few earn a degree…The campus’s graduation rate is 6.4 percent,”

     6.4%? Um, that’s quite a bit lower than 50%.

     Hmm, I wonder if that little statistic is plastered all over the front pages of newspapers in Ferguson? That’s a dropout rate of above 90%, a high school that performed like that would be a huge national disgrace. A graduation/transfer rate of 6.4%? Seriously, that’s beyond abysmal.

     Maybe it’s debatable if the people of Ferguson are getting fair treatment from their police department, but there’s no debate that what’s going on in their community college is far, far, away from fair.

     I totally grant that what’s going on at Ferguson’s community college is little different than what’s happening at community colleges across the country: students are being lured in with “cheap” classes, getting suckered into taking out loans and grants for fake coursework that will not help them in any way. Then, 3 years later, most of these students—93.6% of those in Ferguson, but many community colleges are comparable--find out that they’ve been cheated. Some of these young people will avoid crushing debt (although most are just Pell Grant scammers facilitated by scamming administrators), but all will have wasted years of their lives chasing a dream—a dream that ruthless, pitiless administrators will exploit, rather than guide the young to help achieve.

      The wounds that the community college scam are inflicting on our youth may not be as lethal as from the police, or as violently inflicted, or so obvious. Nevertheless, the many small schools of the community college system, far more than police departments, are inflicting horrific damage on the population of this county.

     It’s not enough to simply read this post and say “too bad.” Please, gentle reader, consider printing out a few copies of this, and distributing it to the local schools. The media won’t tell parents of the 6% or so “success rate” of community college, but this information really, really, needs to be spread around. It’s a curious irony that the only way to stop this higher education scam is through education, but if enough people knew what a trap community college is, I suspect it would create far fewer victims.

     Is it worth a shot?



1 comment:

  1. I went to a great community college way way back in the Ice Ages to learn how to do construction work including paper work and became a contractor after I quit my graduate program when the entire system decided with no warning to no longer have a language requirement for degrees (I was in the German studies program).

    I made oodles of money after graduating with this very real, lucrative degree!

    But back then, CC taught very real things at virtually no cost. I recall, I paid around $100 a semester! Now, with loans, it cost a lot!

    And for grade school classes, no less.